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Howard Community College (HCC) believes that students should not be restricted from attending the institution because of limited financial resources.  To this end, the college maintains a program of grants, scholarships, loans, and part-time employment for eligible students in good standing who are accepted, enrolled, and seeking a degree or certificate in a financial aid eligible area of study.  This belief also extends to students taking career-related noncredit continuing education classes.  The number of students in noncredit classes who receive noncredit financial aid is dependent on the amount of funds available.

Credit Financial Aid

HCC maintains or coordinates grants, scholarships, loans, and part-time employment for students.  Full descriptions of the areas of study and associated eligibility criteria can be found in the HCC student handbook, college catalog, or on the financial aid services page of the HCC website.

Application Information

Students seeking financial aid for credit classes must be admitted to HCC and have a valid Social Security Number on file with the office of admissions and advising.  Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year to be considered for financial aid.  Information regarding the FAFSA form is available on the HCC website.  Students seeking financial aid are strongly urged to apply by the March 1 priority filing date.  Financial aid files completed by March 1 will be given first priority for limited grant funds; however, this process can be completed anytime during the academic year.

Transfer students seeking financial aid must add HCC’s federal school code (008175) with the federal processor by going online to the FAFSA website (www.fafsa.gov).  Transfer students who borrowed loans at a previous school must cancel any remaining loan disbursements at that school and reapply for a Federal Direct Stafford Loan with financial aid services at HCC.  Transfer students who received a Maryland State Scholarship at a previous school must update their school attendance information to include HCC on the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) website using the Maryland College Aid Processing System (MD CAPS).

The Howard Community College Educational Foundation, Inc.  (HCCEF) provides scholarships to new and returning students who demonstrate academic achievement, leadership, or financial need.  Priority is given to students who apply by March 1. Students must complete the HCC Institutional Endowment/Scholarship application located on the HCC website each academic year to be considered for these awards.

Eligibility Criteria

Credit students are eligible for financial aid if:

  • They are a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • They have a valid Social Security Number. 
  • They have a high school diploma, General Education Development (GED) Certificate, or completed homeschooling at the secondary level.
  • They are in compliance with selective service registration, if male.
  • They are enrolled in a financial aid eligible certificate or degree program at HCC.  (Note that not all areas of study at HCC are eligible; check the schedule of classes for eligibility.)
  • They are making satisfactory progress toward completion of a degree or certificate.
  • They are not in default on a Perkins Loan, Federal Stafford Loan, or Federal PLUS Loan.
  • They are not in an overpayment status for any federal aid program at any post-secondary institution or have exceeded the aggregate loan limits.

Financial need is defined as the difference between a student’s cost of attendance (tuition, fees, books, supplies room, board, transportation and miscellaneous expenses) at HCC and the expected family contribution (EFC), which is determined when the FAFSA has been completed and processed.  Students who receive financial aid must demonstrate financial need and make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) as determined by HCC in accordance with federal regulations.  Financial aid recipients are required to be in good academic standing and to maintain SAP toward the degree/certificate requirements for each term in which they are enrolled.  SAP is evaluated at the end of every term: fall, winter/spring, and summer.  Failure to maintain SAP each term will result in the cancellation of future financial aid awards.

Federal regulations require HCC to evaluate all students for SAP each term regardless of whether or not they receive financial aid.  SAP is evaluated based on the student’s cumulative academic record from the date of entry to the college.  For complete requirements relating to SAP, refer to the college catalog, student handbook, or financial aid services page of the HCC website, or visit the financial aid services office.

Continued Eligibility for Receipt of Financial Aid

Student aid awards are normally for one academic year.  Continuation is dependent on meeting application priority deadline dates each year, re-establishing financial need, making SAP, and continuing to enroll for at least one (1) eligible financial aid credit per term (certain awards require half-time or full-time enrollment).

Determination of Need

Need for credit financial aid is determined by the following calculation:

Cost of Attendance
Less Expected Family Contribution
Equals Financial Aid Need

To determine the expected family contribution, the calculation formula used is the Federal Need Analysis Methodology mandated by the U.S.  Congress.  By completing the FAFSA, the family contribution is calculated and reported on the Student Aid Report (SAR), which is emailed or mailed to the student by the federal processor.

Student Consumer Rights and Responsibilities

Section 493.A of the Higher Education Act requires post-secondary educational institutions to disseminate relevant, candid information on student financial aid programs available at the college.  These rights and responsibilities may be found in “The Student Guide,” published by the U.S.  Department of Education.

Refund Policy

Students receiving financial aid for credit classes have the responsibility to follow the college’s withdrawal procedures as outlined in the HCC catalog.  Federal financial aid recipient refunds will be determined based on the current federal regulation requirements.  Full descriptions of the Federal Return of Title IV Funds Policy can be found in the student handbook, the college catalog, or on the financial aid services page of the HCC website.

Noncredit Financial Aid

Application Information

All students seeking financial assistance for noncredit courses should obtain application procedures from the office of continuing education and workforce development.

Eligibility Criteria

Noncredit students are eligible for financial aid if:

  • They show proof of income and demonstrate financial need.
  • They are a resident of Howard County for at least 3 months; proof of residency is required.
  • They are 16 years of age or older.
  • The course work is job or career related.
  • They pass any required literacy testing for the class or program as applicable.

Financial assistance for noncredit courses is not available to individuals who are receiving financial aid from other organizations, an employer, or for those individuals receiving tuition waivers.

Noncredit students are expected to attend all scheduled classes and successfully complete all course assignments.  Students who do not complete or pass courses are not eligible for future noncredit financial aid.

Students will be asked to provide follow-up information on employment or career changes as a result of the noncredit course.

Determination of Need

Financial aid eligibility is determined by U.S.  Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annual income guidelines—an average between low and moderate income—and is limited to course tuition and fees only.  The maximum award for noncredit financial aid is 80 percent of the total cost of tuition and fees and does not usually exceed $2,000 per year, depending on availability of funds.

Information about financial aid for noncredit students can be obtained through the division of continuing education and workforce development and the HCC continuing education website.  Funds for noncredit students are primarily disbursed through the Howard Community College Educational Foundation, Inc.

Policy Manual Review/Revision: 02/28/14